Douglas County merchants posted the best January since the beginning of the recession, according to the Nevada Department of Taxation.
Total taxable sales for the month that saw the opening of the Gardnerville Walmart were $46 million, up from $38.2 million in January 2012.
While short of the $48.5 million in sales reported by merchants in 2008, it was the first time that sales exceeded $40 million since then.
The Walmart opening is included among the category general merchandise stores, which jumped 51 percent from January 2012 to $8.1 million. That moves it close to the county’s traditionally highest category, food services and drinking places, which saw an 11.7 percent increase to $11 million. Merchant wholesalers of durable goods continued to do well, posting an increase of 42.9 percent to $2.3 million. Sales of furniture and home furnishings was up 26.3 percent with $1.25 million. Food and beverage stores were up 5.7 percent to $2.7 million. Professional, scientific and technical services nearly doubled during January, increasing to $2.4 million, up from $831,171 last year.
A couple of Douglas’s larger categories were flat, with electronics and appliance stores nudging up 2.2 percent with $2 million in sales. Building materials and garden equipment came in with a 1 percent increase with $3.2 million. Motor vehicle and parts dealers posted a slight decrease with $1.9 million.
In Carson City, a 16.8 percent increase in vehicle sales drove an 8.3 percent overall increase in taxable sales during January. Total sales for the month were $58.1 million.
Both of the state’s major urban counties did well in January. Clark reported sales of $2.52 billion, an 8.2 percent increase, and Washoe posted a 7.4 rise to $426 million.
The news was good in Lyon County as well — a 14.8 percent increase to $22.1 million. Construction increased from just $17,000 a year ago to nearly $300,000 this January, and motor vehicle sales rose 53 percent to $2.8 million. General merchandise sales were up 15.6 percent to $2.6 million in Lyon County.
The news wasn’t so good for Churchill County, which reported $20.67 million in sales. That is down 2 percent from the previous January.
Twelve of Nevada’s 17 counties reported increases in the month.